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How To Maximize Seating in a Small Living Room (Without Overcrowding It!)

 

Do you find yourself wishing you could seat just a COUPLE more people in your tiny living room? We have some good news: it's possible! With a little creative thinking and some clever seating options, you can have all the seating you need without sacrificing a functional flow for your small living room.

Check out our comprehensive guide to learn what kind of furniture works best in a small space, tips for arranging furniture to allow for maximum seating, and space-saving hacks to minimize crowding.

 
small space seating
 

How to Create Seating in Small Living Room

 

Add an ottoman (or several).

Ottomans can be true lifesavers when you need to maximize seating in a small living room. As one of the most versatile furniture pieces in your home, an ottoman can serve double duty, no matter where you put it. Here are a few ideas for multipurpose ottomans in a small living room:

  • Coffee table alternative: You want a place to set your drink, but you can’t justify taking up valuable seating space with a traditional coffee table. Place a stylish tray on top of a cushy ottoman to create a hard surface that’s perfect for a drink or candle. Move your tray out of the way when you need extra seating.
  • Side table: End tables take up space (and they’re not exactly meant to be a seat), but a flat-topped stoolcan easily be an end table OR a place to sit for a cozy conversation.
  • Tucked away floor seating: If you’re really tight on space, consider fabric ottomans or floor poufs that can be stored under your coffee table or TV console table and pulled out any time you need another place to sit.
  • Storage: If you have a basket of blankets in a corner or a small bookshelf taking up valuable space, bring in a storage ottoman instead. Keep your belongings organized and out of sight, and add another spot for a friend to sit—all with one small piece of furniture.

Leverage scale to create a natural “flow”

When choosing furniture for a small space, one thing can make or break the open feel of your room: SCALE! Properly sized furniture is key to maximizing seating in a small living room without making it feel crowded.

An oversized couch is excellent for one person to sprawl out and enjoy, but you’ll likely find yourself bumping into it regularly (or resenting how much space it takes up). Choose a compact couch or loveseat with slim arms (or no arms at all!), so you get maximum seating space from your main piece of living room furniture. The same applies for accent furniture. Choose low-profile accent chairs that don’t command more space than they have to.

Use a little couch trickery

The right couch is truly an anchor piece in any living room—big or small. And sometimes, the best way to maximize seating in a small living room is with a little bit of couch trickery. No one likes to sit on the awkward crack between couch cushions, right? Plus, when you see three cushions, you think, “Only three people can sit there.”

Here’s a hack: get rid of the cracks! Choose a couch with one continuous seat cushion so that no one has to fall between the cushions. This can also make your couch appear bigger and “trick” your guests into cramming more people on it. Win-win!

Utilize shape to your advantage!

When it comes to creating an optimal chair arrangement in living room spaces, use curved furniture shapes in your favor. Rounded furniture is easy to tuck into a corner, whereas straight edges on accent chairs or tables can lead to wasted space and limited arrangement options. Better yet, find a chair that’s tailor-made for tight corners for a comfy seat with a small footprint.

Experiment with different layouts

Just because you’ve always had the couch in one place, it doesn’t have to stay there! You may find that rearranging your living room furniture gives you a new perspective and fresh ideas on maximizing the space.

Even moving your existing furniture pieces by a few inches can create space for a new stool or small bench—giving you a side table for everyday use and another seat when you need it. You may need to embrace a “trial-and-error” mindset when it comes to finding your perfect couch, table, and chair arrangement in the living room, but here are a few general guidelines to get you started:

  • Keep larger pieces (and those with straight edges) pushed up against the walls so they don’t get in the way.
  • For smaller or round pieces, don’t be afraid to “float” it in the middle of the room! This can help define a separate seating area, and round shapes are easier to walk around than bulky straight furniture.
  • Turn your furniture toward the center of the room to encourage conversation. This intentional tweak can make your living room feel cozy and inviting rather than cramped and claustrophobic.

Choose quality over quantity

When it comes to maximizing seating in a small living room, less truly can be more. Don’t believe us? Think about it this way: a few beautiful, high-quality seating pieces will make much more of an impact than several cheap, poorly made benches or chairs strewn throughout the room.

Plus, one large piece of durable living room furniture can provide more seating (and, let’s be real, far more COMFORTABLE seating) than several small, flimsy pieces. And, let’s not forget: adding small seating options can quickly crowd the room and undermine an otherwise perfect chair arrangement in your living room.

Instead of turning to big-box stores for too-small temporary solutions that won’t hold up (and will probably end up in a landfill, yikes!), purchase a few high-quality living room furniture that you and your guests will enjoy sitting on for years to come.

Look at the bigger picture of your home

Here’s the thing: maybe all your living room seating doesn’t have to live there all the time (no pun intended). If you can’t squeeze one more inch out of your tiny living room, turn to nearby spaces in your home!

Is your living room close to your bedroom? Consider adding a small accent chair in the bedroom corner—just make it a lightweight one that can easily be moved to the living room when you have friends over. Have a dining room close by? Upgrade your dining room table with plush linen dining chairs, and suddenly you have even more seating options for your small living room within a few steps. When the guests go home, you move your extra seats back to their respective positions, and your perfect living room flow is restored in minutes.

Choose a different space to be your living room

Just because a blueprint might say “dining room,” it doesn’t mean you can’t make that space into your dream living room! Break out of your small living room entirely by thinking outside of your home’s original layout.

Swap out your dining room table for a small one that fits in the kitchen, then use the larger dining room space as your living room. Office spaces or bonus rooms can make excellent living rooms, too, but don’t be afraid to use a large bedroom or other non-traditional space as your living room. It’s YOUR home, and you should use it to serve YOUR lifestyle! And hey—you can always use your previous formal living room for a better purpose, too.

It's Your Turn to Maximize Seating in a Small Living Room

Ready for maximum seating on a minimal budget? Explore accent chairs, stools, ottomans, and more at CORT Furniture Outlet! You'll discover an ever-changing inventory of living room seating options that are perfect for small spaces. Shop online or visit us in-store and take home your one-of-a-kind purchase today!

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